Sunday, March 22, 2015

Diet Vista Hike

Today Neil, Chris and I hiked the Diez Vista trail from Buntzen Lake. Yesterday Neil ran the Chuckanutt 50km run in Bellingham USA. As usual the event was wet and muddy! He did well and came in around the time he is consistent with for that event. I was just proud he went and did it considering the horrendous weather conditions. The weather yesterday on the coast was very stormy - heavy rain with thunder storms. The weather forecast predicted a few hours of dryness today which we managed to take advantage of and get out on the trails!  We took it nice and easy which is still a great work out due to the big climbs and rough terrain. We were out there for just over 4 hours and covered about 25 km which speaks to the roughness of the terrain. 
There are several views from the trail as you climb from Buntzen Lake. There were quite a few people on the trail today. We came upon a couple of ladies who had found themselves going around in circles and retracing their steps. Somehow they missed how the trail continues past one of the rocky view points. We suggested they stay with us and we would get them on their way in the direction they were hoping to go. Mission accomplished! 
Here's Chris and I enjoying a peanut butter sandwich once the major climbing was over. It always amazes me how the descent on this trail is so rough and technical. Glad I had the snack to keep my mind and feet coordinated for the descent. It felt good once we were down and on the Lake Shore Trail. Neil and I are both signed up for the 50km Diez Vista trail race coming up in a few weeks which includes this section of the trail. I'm looking forward to a few more outings in the area before the event. 
We met up with Kendall for coffee once we were done and her parting words were "you all need a bath". Thanks Neil and Chris for a good outing today. 
Happy Trails! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dirty Duo 50km

Here's Craig and I finishing the Dirty Duo 52 km (course was re-routed and a little longer) than the original 50 km of previous years

It was a beautiful spring day. A little cold at 7:30 am for the early start. There was a small group of us for the early start. I was feeling a little apprehensive until I heard that one of my fellow runners had just returned from Sierra Leon (and completed his quarantine time) working with people living and dying from Ebola. Now that put the entire under taking into perspective! 

We were about to spend the day on the trails, in nice spring weather! How thankful I should be that I can come out and play. I had a bit of a rough start as we ended up running through a cloud of smoke from a close by burning fire of some sort. It made my breathing difficult. Craig and I were running together and he was very patient. He was looking for a good long run and time on his feet both of which I promised him I could deliver! 

After an hour or so I started to settle into the run. I found my airways opened up and I was doing much better. I even had some firsts like actually passing a runner on "Ned's Atomic Dust Bin". It is a downhill mountain bike trail that is super rough and technical. In this event you actually do it 2x's! Yah Ned's! 

Craig was stopping for a few minutes at the aid stations chatting to friends and then would run to catch up to me. After a couple of hours he said "Princess you are speeding up" - he was working hard to catch up to me! Better stay with me partner I replied! 

In this event you have to complete a 25km route and then repeat it for the last 25km's. Repeating anything is not fun but on Saturday Craig and I seemed to embrace the day and we tackled the second loop no problem. I think on some sections I was much stronger on the second loop. My feet started to cramp so I took some electrolyte tablets and guzzled the electrolyte drink at the aid stations and it took care of the cramping. 

The Dirty Duo has many events going on simultaneously. There are mountain bikes on the route and various distances of running. We had a very peaceful journey and didn't see too many people along the way. Perhaps because we took the early start and that we were near the back of the pack. It made for a very relaxing day on the trails. We were proud to complete our first 50 km event of 2015 feeling good and even made plans for dinner that evening where we had some good discussions about the upcoming Vancouver 100 in June. 

Longer days are here with the clocks turning this weekend. Looking forward to more midweek outings! 

Thank-you Heather and the Mountain Madness crew for putting on a great event. I really appreciated the excellent marking of the course especially with multiple events and having different bike and running routes. Thank-you Craig, hope the journey was as much fun for you as it was for me! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

Saturday Neil and I headed south to the USA to participate in the Fragrance Lake Trail Half Marathon. We always allow extra time to account for the border crossing. It's about 1.5 hour drive from home if all is smooth sailing at the border. The border line up was minimal so we arrived in plenty of time. We took the opportunity to fill up the monster truck with the cheap American fuel - it's almost half the cost of Canadian fuel! 

For the event you park at the finish and walk to the start which is across Chuckanutt Drive. Somewhat confusing but thankfully we were here in November for another half marathon so we were familiar with the area. 

It was a cold morning around 4 degrees C but clear skies and no rain - yah!! The event has about 3500 feet of climbing. So it is not your typical half marathon event. One trail was called the "Rock Trail". We started climbing and running past rocks as big as houses. We deduced this must be the "Rock Trail". Neil and I did the event together as we have done many events before. This year we are celebrating  our 25th wedding anniversary so we are planning a few trail events together. It's going to be a team effort! �� Our Anniversary date is in June where we will celebrate with 100km's on the trail together at Vancouver 100. (More details of the event to come!) 

Here's the  Fragrance Lake Half Marathon course profile: 

These trails have a unique mud to them that is super slippery. We don't have this kind of mud in Vancouver �� so it always adds to the fun factor when on these trails. 

Some of the trails were familiar from previous events we have participated in although we were going in the opposite direction which made them appear "new" to us! We enjoyed the day together with spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains and coastal views of the state of Washington. The trail was well marked and it was a well organized event on very nice trails. 

Happy Trails! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Bowl Weekend

We are not avid football fans despite the Seattle Seahawks being in the Super Bowl this weekend. Seattle is the closest NFL team to Vancouver and excitement filled the city. Game day was wet so we were somewhat tempted to stay indoors and watch the game. We overcame the temptation to sit in front of the TV and enjoyed a peaceful trail run from Riverside Road on the Baden Powell. Both the rain and the game must have kept folk at home. We had the trails to ourselves which was very special. We called it quits when we started to feel a bit chilled from being so wet after 1.5 hours. 

Saturday I joined Craig and Lynette for a hike on another section of the Baden Powelll from Skyline Drive where we did an out and back. The Baden Powell trail can be accessed from many points to do a section of the trail for training runs. 

                             Craig and Lynette Baden Powell Trail 

Earlier this week we witnessed a beautiful sunset on the Pitt Meadows Dyke while out for a run. A motor boat had just gone by and created the wake. 

                                      Pitt Meadows Dykes 
          Fergus and I enjoying the view on the Pitt Meadows Dykes. 

This week I did 2 Spin classes, 1 TRX class, 5 runs and 1 hike. Trying to keep the wheels turning! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mosquitoes in January?

The Pineapple Express from Hawaii has been providing us with extremely wet and warm weather here in Vancouver. The term Pineapple Express sounds much more glamorous with images of Hawaiian fruit and cocktails arriving via the jet stream. What it really means is torrential rain, high humidity and warm temperatures. Almost all the snow on the local mountains has disappeared so snow shoeing has turned into rock shoeing! 

Today Neil, Dave and I did a 2.5 hour run on the Dirty Duo route in 15 degrees Celsius with very high humidity. It was a sweaty one! We were greeted by a hatch of mosquitoes near the creeks. I hope the wasps stay underground. Weather forecast is for more of the same. Perhaps next January we should just go to Hawaii! 

This week I did 4 spin classes, 1 TRX class, 1 sea wall walk, and 3 runs. Hoping to get outside more next week. 

Dave and I on one of the many slippery board walks on this route. 

Happy Robbie Burns Day! 

Fergus enjoying some Haggis! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bye Bye January Blues!

Snowshoeing on Mt. Seymour with Dave and Neil.
The lights on the ski runs lighting up the sky and the snow.
Fergus and I on the Buntzen Lake trail. He is small but strong and mighty - wow can he take me for a run!
 We are over the jet lag, the colds and the thick fog covering Vancouver has finally lifted. All great excuses to interfere with a runners motivation. It is half way through January and we are now starting to incorporate longer runs into our weekends. Last weekend we completed 2 hours on the Dirty Duo route and today we did 2 hours at Buntzen Lake on the Diez Vista route.The Dirty Duo and Diez Vista are 2 upcoming 50km events I plan to participate in.
The spinning classes throughout the winter have helped. I'm trying to join 3-4 spin classes/week, 1 TRX class/week and to get out for 4-5 runs/week. Last Friday night Neil, Dave and I enjoyed snowshoeing up Mt. Seymour. Hopefully this week will bring more snow to the mountains and we can go again soon. I really enjoy an evening snowshoe outing. We wear our headlamps and it is very peaceful and of course a great workout. Occasionally we enjoy a little mulled wine along the route!
The terrain at Buntzen is a bit rocky but Fergus just flies over it!
I do my best to keep up!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Marcothon moved from Loch Ness to Edinburgh and then back to Vancouver

After leaving the Inverness area we spent a few more days in Edinburgh. We started each day with a run. Neil and Graeme did an early morning speed run. I chose a later start on my own and a more leisurely pace. The weather was very nice, cold and clear.
We returned back to Vancouver last night. I had my final Marcothon run this morning in Golden Ears Park. Wow - it was a quick 10 day trip. Now the challenge will be to try and stay awake until midnight tonight to bring in the New Year. The 8 hour time difference and 9 hour flight from London always makes the first few days at home tough. The Champagne is chilling, Happy New Year!